The old ball & chain/love of my life/husband and I are currently making plans to visit New York sometime in the (hopefully) not too distant future. We agree on when we’d like to travel, the sort of things we’d like to do when we get there and just how much time we’re going to devote to eating everything in sight. The one thing we can’t agree on is what kind of hotel room do we need.
I’m a miser when it comes to hotel rooms. Because my favourite sort of trip is to explore a big, bustling city with lots of museums, parks, shops and restaurants, all I want from an hotel room is a clean bed and a clean bathroom with a functioning shower and toilet. That’s all I need. I don’t even need a tv in a hotel room. The old ball & chain however is different. He travels a lot for work and, through this and hotel loyalty card schemes, has come to expect a little extra luxury from his hotel experiences. He’s stayed in suites, rooms with lovely views, rooms with executive services, trouser presses, power showers and turn-down services (not the same as the turn-down service he’s likely to get at home. IfyouknowwhatImean*snort*).
I’d always much rather save the extra money on having a flash hotel room with a lumpy, uncomfortable sofa and spend it on eating, drinking, sightseeing and, most importantly, shopping. I don’t know where husband and I will end up staying in New York when we eventually get back there; I know it won’t be The Plaza and it won’t be a hostel- we’ll find a nice, comfortable compromise where husband can have his power shower and my Sephora budget won’t be in jeopardy.
But, I would like to try a little luxury one day. There are of course, lots of famous luxury hotels around the world that I think anyone would love to experience. Here are five that I suspect if I ever managed to spend a night or two in them, the hotel management would be hard pressed to get me to leave.
The BBC recently ran a series about the comings and goings, management and staff at Claridge’s and it appeared to not only be a gorgeous hotel to stay at but also a wonderful place to work. With staff who have worked there for decades I imagine the family feeling at Claridge’s would make for a cosy, luxurious stay.
Lowest prices according to TripAdvisor start at approx £450 per night. For that Claridge’s promises “timeless glamour… the essence of English style… decadence and dazzle.” Sounds like a bargain to me. (The fact that Claridge’s have kept their apostrophe makes me very happy too.)
The Dolder Grand, Zürich.
Have you seen the homepage? It looks like a fairytale castle in the snow. The Dolder Grand is Zürich’s most expensive hotel and has been open for over 100 years. Originally opened as a Curhaus (“Cure house”/health resort), this hotel boasts the usual services and is very much a wellness centre/spa hotel with swimming and mini-golf in summer. Frankly, I never thought that a stay at a luxury hotel would be complete without a round of mini-golf. Fore!
According to their website, room prices range from £360 (single)- £2600 (Grand suite) per night. Well, at least I’d only have to pay train fare to get there, right?
The Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
I confess, the only reason this hotel won over Singapore’s most famous hotel, Raffles, is that infinity pool, 191m above the ground. I need to swim in that pool before I die. The actual hotel part is three 55 storey buildings connected across the top by a terrace-structure called the SkyPark. The SkyPark also boasts restaurants and bars as well as an observation deck from which you can stargaze. (I’m not sure how great the visibility in the night sky would be though, given all the light pollution around.)
If I’ve done my sums right, Trip Advisor seems to be telling me that you can have a night in this hotel for about £200-£250- that’s actually doable (or might be one day.). Expensive swim; would be totally worth it.
Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro
When I told my husband my idea for this month’s post he said, “I know a luxury hotel you would love- the Copacabana Palace.” Right across the street from the gorgeous sands of Copacabana beach, the Palace is an historic hotel, catering to the well-to-do since the 1920’s. He’s lucky/hard-working enough to have already stayed there a couple of times already and enjoyed each experience thoroughly. Breakfast on the air-conditioned pavilion, overlooking the beach on a sunny morning; drinks around the pool in the afternoon before heading out into the city for dinner; super-friendly service; an iconic hotel in an iconic location, my husband promises me this would be an hotel stay I’d never forget.
With Trip Advisor advertising prices around £430 per night for a stay, you’d want to be sure to spy at least one of the “rich & famous” faces the hotel is reputed to host.
The Overlook Hotel/Timberline Lodge, Mount Lodge, Oregon
Yes, this is the hotel from Stanley Kubrick‘s film The Shining (in Stephen King’s book, the Overlook is inspired by real-life hotel, The Stanley) . I’m a little bit and unnaturally obsessed by the idea of being snowed in in a vast hotel over winter. I don’t want to go crazy and start chopping people up, I just want to wander the halls and rooms all alone with nothing but books (and yes, the internet.)
But really, a visit to Timberline Lodge could involve sauna, hot tub, swimming along with shopping and dining. Not exactly a luxury hotel, but definitely worth a visit for ski/snow enthusiasts. Trip Advisor wasn’t able to provide prices but that’s ok since closing down the hotel for an entire season for just one guest would most definitely be out of my price range anyway.
What about you? What do you look for in a hotel?